Offensive? Moi?

I made a huge mistake a while back, which didn’t come to light for some time. In my defence, I didn’t realise it was a mistake at the time or I probably wouldn’t have done it. Ok, I might have done, but I probably would have checked with Mrs Bob first. She says she would have suggested I didn’t post it.

“What was this gargantuan mistake”, I hear you all ask? Well, I had decided to post a joke on a local NHS autism group’s social media site. Other jokes are posted on there, and this one was not rude, racist or sexist at all, just maybe a little ill -advised; in fact, here it is below – you can decide.

JOKE WARNING!

I Am Deleting The Following People in This group As They Do Not Contribute or post.

[inserted a long list of fictional names here… none of whom were people in the group]

If you went through this entire list looking for your name, I do apologize for completely wasting your time. I’m not even an admin and have no clue who these people are. I stole this from another page and thought it was funny.”

I had seen this on another group, and thought it was just a harmless bit of fun, so I posted it. Boy, was I wrong. It turns out that one person on the group, who is a new member, became extremely offended by this joke and left fifteen increasingly angry comments on my post. Then, he actually called the group’s administrator on the phone to complain and demand that I was removed from the group. I then found I couldn’t access the group. A bit harsh, I felt, but it’s their group after all.

I eventually established that I had not been booted from the group by the admin, but they did not understand why I was no longer a member, as I had not left. I received a kind email from the group admin, who made it clear that they realised it was a harmless joke, and I’m told that the offended person was spoken to and he issued a public apology to me on the group.

I know, as someone on the Autism Spectrum, that we may not get certain jokes from time-to-time, but was that an acceptable reaction to a genuine error of judgement, even if it did cause offence? I’m going to have to say no. If I had been approached and they had said they found it offensive, I would have removed it. I’m not into upsetting other people, even if I don’t understand what I said that offended them. I see things all the time online that I find highly offensive and it’s clear it was posted provocatively, but I am like many adults, and don’t give the person who posted it the satisfaction of showing any form of reaction. I just scroll on. It seems to me that nowadays people are either very sensitive to the slightest upset online, or that certain people go out of their way to find something to complain about, saying it’s offensive and that it upset them.

Honestly, there are bigger things to be offended by than a silly misplaced joke. I could run a huge list of REAL problems that we could and should be offended by, but it’s common sense to most people.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong to be upset or offended by things on social media or the internet in general. I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t sweat the small stuff, yeah? There are bigger things to get angry over. Maybe one little joke isn’t it.

Stay Safe X

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